The Interpreter

Shortlisted for Best Historical Fiction 2020 (Next Generation Indie Book Awards)

In the heat of wartime Manila, 23-year-old American GI Kurt Berlin is recruited by the OSS to return to Europe to aid in the interrogation of captured Nazis. A refugee from the Nazis himself, Berlin discovers the SS officer he’s interpreting is responsible for much of the torment and misery he endured during his escape. And that very same Nazi may hold the key to finding the girl he left behind. Will the gravitational pull of revenge dislodge his moral compass?

From the terror of pre-war Vienna to the chaos of occupied Brussels, through Kurt’s flight with his family through Nazi-Occupied France to the destruction of post-war Europe, The Interpreter follows Kurt’s surreal escape and return. How much can his young mind absorb before it shatters?

The Interpreter is the first installment in a the new “Justice” series, featuring protagonist Kurt Berlin. The saga begins in 1939 and follows Berlin’s transformation from a teenage refugee on the run in Nazi Europe through his transformation into a US attorney and then to covert CIA agent, ending in 1973. Sidransky is currently writing the second installment, The Intern, set against the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953. It will be released in 2022.

The Interpreter

A.J. talks about The Interpreter

In conversation with Julian Voloj on The Interpreter


“An emotional thriller on an important subject. Deep research propels the story, its finely etched characters intrigued me, and the element of the love story with its twist at the end smoothed what is really quite disturbing subject matter. An exciting and illuminating read.”
—Martin Fletcher, Former Foreign Correspondent NBC News, and author of The List

“Crisp, original, unforgettable. The Interpreter is a flashlight piercing the dark shadows of American history. Sidransky is a born storyteller.”
—Diana Spechler, author of Who by Fire and Skinny

The Interpreter makes you feel like you’re there, in the crush of refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe, carrying false papers and waiting for the SS to grab you, terrified of being recognized and wondering what you’d be willing to do to survive. The novel’s vivid prose and surreal images are reflected in today’s headlines, particularly the shameful treatment of asylum seekers on our shores and the cruel policy of separating families at the border. This novel is a powerful plea to gedenk, to remember what we lost.”
—Kenneth Wishnia, editor of Jewish Noir, author of The Fifth Servant

“By turns thrilling, uplifting, shocking, and heartwarming, The Interpreter takes you on parallel emotional rollercoaster rides through a harrowing escape from Nazi-controlled Austria and the dirty backroom deals made by desperate spies in a world on the brink of the Cold War. A must-read.”
—Erica Obey, author of The Horseman’s Word

“Sidransky has written a powerful story about the ravages of war, a tale of love and loss, of hate and revenge and the struggle to hold onto one’s humanity in an inhumane world.”
—Jeff Markowitz, author of Death and White Diamonds

“A gripping thriller with stunning twists, The Interpreter is also history and the cure for any number of lies about the Holocaust.”
—Albert Tucher, author of The Same Mistake Twice and The Honorary Jersey Girl

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Interview with Julian Voloj
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Interview with Just Reviews
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Background Articles

Ritchie Boys
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Moe Berg: Baseball Player in the OSS
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John Dolibois Describes Interrogating Captured Nazi Officials
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What Cold War CIA Interrogators Learned from the Nazis
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What was Operation Paperclip?
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Kindertransport, 1938–40
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Kindertransport, Wikipedia
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Food is an important element in my life and hence in my writing. In my world, food is love, and preparing food for someone is how you show them love. Sharing a meal together is how intimacy grows. Here are a recipes for some of the foods described in The Interpreter.

Waterzooi Chicken

Tafelspitz, Viennese Boiled Beef

Classic Matza Ball Soup

Chocolate Crepes

Salad Frisee aux Lardon

Checkerboard Cookies

Chocolate Mandelbread